Exmouth Town completed their first season in the Southern League in a creditable fourteenth position with 46 points from their 38 games played.

They were 12 points above the two automatic relegation places and four points above the relegation play-off mark, a more than acceptable outcome for a club still learning the ropes at this level.

On Saturday, Sholing were the visitors already assured of the runners-up spot and in an entertaining game there was little to choose between the two sides.

Robbie Powell had to make important saves as the visitors took the game to Town but Jordan Harris brought the best out of the visiting ‘keeper with a strong drive tipped around the post.

Town also had strong shouts for a penalty waved away as Aarron Denny appeared to have won the ball before being brought down.

As the match went into added time at the end of the first half, Exmouth failed to react to a quick throw-in and a loose ball was hammered home to give the visitors the lead. A minute later and a late challenge from Karl Riddell earned a straight red card leaving Town with a mountain to climb in the second half.

To their credit, Town maintained their composure and discipline throughout the second half but were twice caught on the break as the visitors scored in the 69th and 75th minutes. They finally got the reward their efforts deserved on eighty minutes when a calm finish by Harry Walford reduced the deficit.

Eight minutes later it really was game on, as Dean Billingsly created space and his pin-point cross was perfect for Denny to find the bottom corner.

Unfortunately, Town were unable to find the equaliser but could leave the field with their heads held high and safe in the knowledge they will be playing Step 4 football again next season, having also completed all of the necessary improvements to meet the ground grading requirements.

Willand Rovers are also safe for next season but Bideford face an uncertain future, as they must play a relegation play-off after slipping into the bottom four on the final day, despite an impressive draw at promotion-chasing Wimborne Town. Bideford will learn their opponents over the next few days.